In a profile published Wednesday in The New York Times, Griffin recalled reaching out to Zucker ten days before the broadcast in 2016 and told him she felt she deserved more than her $80,000 contract since “she was carrying more of the prep work” than her co-host, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
According to Griffin, Zucker “got very offended.”
“He started yelling at me and he literally said something like, ‘Who do you think you are calling here demanding a raise?’ And then something came over me. And I just lost it. I just started screaming. I’m Kathy [beep!] Griffin, Jeff, that’s who I am,” Griffin told the Times.
Griffin then said to Zucker, “I would really feel a lot more comfortable showing up if I got paid what I deserve,” which Zucker perceived as a threat to bail on the show. He then fired her through a call to Griffin’s lawyer.
According to the Times, “Griffin called Zucker again, begging him to take her back. Zucker rehired her, but she said he cut her pay by 20 percent.”
Zucker told the Times he had long supported Griffin’s career, dating back to his tenure as the boss of NBCUniversal where he gave the greenlight to Griffin’s program “My Life on the D-List,” which ran for six seasons on Bravo.
The CNN boss called Griffin’s demand for a raise just days before New Year’s Eve “completely out of line.”
“It sounds like she is acknowledging that, insofar as Kathy Griffin acknowledges she has ever done anything wrong,” Zucker told the Times.
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Griffin, who began co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve special in 2009, was later terminated by the network following her infamous 2017 photoshoot where she posed with a prop depicting then-President Trump’s severed head.
This isn’t the first time the comedian has spoken out against CNN.
Last month, Griffin blasted CNN for what she described as a “double standard” for when she got fired while the network kept its chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on the payroll following his masturbation scandal. Toobin was seen masturbating on a work call with his colleagues at the New Yorker, leading to his termination from the magazine but not CNN.
“I think there’s another conversation that we’re not ready to have yet in this country unfortunately. I think we’re hopefully making some strides finally with race. We’re having conversations at least. But I think that we haven’t really talked about the level of misogyny and ageism that went along with all that,” Griffin said during an appearance on “The View.”
“You know, I got canned from CNN, which hurt me a lot personally because I loved that gig, but then for me to watch Jeffrey Toobin talking about women’s choice after he masturbated on a Zoom call,” she continued. “Which I know sounds funny, but maybe it wasn’t so funny for the other ladies who worked at The Atlantic [sic] that had to see that.”
Co-host Joy Behar chimed in, pointing out that Toobin claimed it was an accident that he masturbated while on the call.
“OK, well good for him. I’m just saying it’s easy, when a guy does something we joke about it, and I do believe there’s a double standard,” Griffin said.